Brunei Darussalam


[tweetmeme]One of the things I enjoy about being out in town (or out of town) early morning is the opportunity to observe how others start their day. A popular cafe called Marilyn Cake House which is located right in the heart of Kuala Belait, my birth place and also where Zaika and RMS Diner eatery recently opened. This cafe is a very popular meeting place for many regular patrons and is also frequented by many expats. I suspect Coffee Bean’s strategic isolation within the confines of Brunei Shell Petroleum headquarters helps keep clients coming back even if it’s for a cup of coffee. Over the years, Marilyn has become a favourite stopover for me whenever my car needed to be in the workshop for longer than I want to wait. Let’s face it, it’s way better to be stuck in a cafe than at a workshop—more than just a case of music versus noise.

This picture was shot on the EOS 5D Mk II and 50mm at f/1.4. I really like how this composition in a meticulously tweaked black and white conversion brings out the easy going mood of the early morning.  The only thing I don’t get is how this Caucasian gentleman had orange juice first followed by cappuccino. If I subject my stomach to such “concoction” I think I would get myself in trouble!

An expat enjoys an early morning breakfast at Marilyn Cafe in Kuala Belait
An expat enjoys an early morning breakfast at Marilyn Cafe

Being on the road a lot means I can no longer put up with working from home. It goes without saying that we’ve become very dependent on technology to get work done and a modern day photographer no longer just post-processes his/her photographs but also blogs and tweets and I cannot think of a better example than JENNY SUN who epitomizes this trilogy of insanity along with LOUIS PANG (Jenny’s more nuts!). There may be others whose tweets I don’t yet follow but who take things to a whole new level of craziness (like going without sleep) but regardless this is now! So it’s little wonder some of us that we take our gadgets (and other income generating equipment) very seriously. Thanks to MARUL (be careful, he’s convincingly smooth) I purchased a brilliant twitter app called Gravity to install on my Nokia E71. When I am not editing photos, the E71 rates high as my next favourite companion on the road. Read my review of the Nokia E71.

My mobile editing studio and office in a Dell Studio 17
My Dell Studio 17 and hot coffee neither one of which I can do without including the Nokia E71

I’m a die hard Dell user as much as many are die hard Mac users in the professional photography industry and as things stand today, my “gadget” is the Dell Studio 17 and this has pretty much replaced my once powerful Dell Dimension 9150 as the main photo editing machine. The 9150 was “OK” when I had the EOS 5D and files were a lot smaller than those from the 5D Mark II. But it was the 24″ and 19″ LCD that spoilt me and had me rooted in my seats for many years before I discovered the Dell Studio 17. The 17″ 1920 x 1200 high definition screen is just super sweet to use but guess what, the Core2Duo 2.4Ghz, 4GB RAM and Vista Home Premium aren’t exactly Tomorrow’s technology Today.

I recently looked a possible replacement: the Alienware M17x no doubt a worthy consideration but the silly part is that it costs way too much. Will the sponsorship bell ever ring ? 🙂

8 thoughts on “UNRUSHED

  1. As much as the Alienware is an awesome piece of machine, but the features on it can’t justify the price. The Dell Studio is already sufficient right?


    1. Hi Mark! You’re absolutely right. The Alienware is what I would honestly call an unwise investment considering there are probably other faster machines out there that cost considerably less. And other than nice to have horsepower for photo editing, the M17x offers no other value as I am not a gamer. It’s funny, I have a ton of patience in photography but have none to waste on gaming!

      The Dell Studio 17 is in fact “sufficient” to get work done a lot faster than my outdated Dual Core PC. Having said that, two days ago I managed to crash my photo editor (Paint Shop Pro X2) in the middle of editing a 12 foot wide panorama of our national heritage, the water village or more affectionately called KAMPONG AYER. This is for an expat client who is leaving Brunei next week and she liked it very much. So much that I was able to convince her to accept 4 pieces of 8″ x 36″ wide prints on Kodak Professional paper.


  2. Your first two paragraph was easy to understand. But, the rest, hehehe… You really go into details bro. As for me, being simple (too simple in fact), I just use my hp to call & sms.

    When it come to photography, I’d rather lean from a simple ‘guru’ like Raj, whose best quote: Woah, so easy, just click only…. Ahaks…!!!

    Good da to you brother 🙂


  3. the very first part of this blog is my cup of tea….I have always enjoyed the way you capture the moment on every occasion and things under the sun!!

    I have stolen your pics again 😛


  4. Love the 50mm. And I would take the orange juice and pass on the Cappucino 😛

    Like the Mac, always thought that Alienware was expensive because of its marketing 😛 I use a Mac for editing so what do I know? Hahaha


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